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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Camp Loopy 2012 Project 3

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I also started my Camp Loopy 2012 Project 3 last Friday.  This pair of socks is not part of my Ravellenic Games, so it will probably just be knit on sporadically until my cardi is finished.  These are the Cranberry Biscotti socks, upsized to manly proportions.  The pattern is pretty easy to follow, so these are a nice break from my cardi project.

I don't know if any of you have been watching the Olympics but did Barbie design the gymnastics venue?  I've never seen such a pink gym!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Let The Games Begin!

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I began my Wrought Iron Cardigan on Friday!  There were a couple of issues that first night (don't watch Opening Ceremonies while you're counting) but I fixed everything on Saturday morning and was able to move in a forward direction.  In my charming Obsessive Compulsive way I have a plan for getting this done and I've broken down the sweater into daily goals.  I'm a good 12 hours ahead of my goal right now!  What you're looking at here are the saddle strips for shoulders, the cardigan's back and the right front.  You're also looking at lots of yarn ends and waste yarn either holding stitches or being provisional cast ons.  I'll be cleaning things up soon.  Today's new goal is to complete the left front and join the body to work in the round.  I am loving this yarn (Madelinetosh Vintage) and will definitely be using it again in the future.  The color is more accurate in this picture than in Friday's picture of the skein (it really is a very dark blue green).

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Friday, July 27, 2012

A Finishing and A New Beginning

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I've finished my July Knit Something of the Month!  This was And So Are You (this name makes so much more sense in the context of the entire ebook than it does on a stand alone pattern - it's part of the Be Mine ebook), knit in my Wollmeise from last year's Camp Loopy.  This was a fun pattern with just enough going on to keep my interest, but perfect for TV knitting.  I've got to weave in ends and give it a light blocking, then Logan can model it for you next week, but I'm counting it finished now!

Today is the beginning of the Olympics, which for Olympic junkies like myself, is pretty huge.  I've already reserved the biggest TV in the house for Opening Ceremonies tonight (it's the TV with the PS3 - reservations are essential).  This also means that today is the beginning of the Ravellenic Games - where we push our knitting skills to the limits in honor of the athletes and their achievements.  Cast on is at whatever your local time is when the Opening Ceremonies begin in London (that's 3:00 PM here in the DFW metroplex).  I love the idea of thousands of knitters casting on at the same time, all across the globe.  All the projects have to be completed by midnight local time on August 12, the day of Closing Ceremonies.
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I will be participating this year and I will be making the Wrought Iron Cardigan in Madelinetosh Vintage in Norway Spruce.  I've got to do a gauge swatch this morning (swatching is considered training) and then I'll be ready to go this afternoon!

GO TEAM USA!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Camp Loopy Project 2

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My second project for Camp Loopy is all finished and blocked now!  Isn't it amazing what a blocking can do?  This is the Emelie Cardigan knit in Spud and Chloe Fine in Redhot.  It was a fun and fast knit - just enough lace to break up the stockinette, but enough stockinette to make it go very quickly.  This pattern has three lengths: cropped, regular, and long.  I did the long version which hits about mid-hip (so it's not crazy long).  I think this will be great to wear this Fall and even into Winter.  It's just a classic cardigan shape and should work with everything.
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For the third and last project for Camp Loopy 2012, I'm going to knit some socks.  I'm going to do the Cranberry Biscotti socks and upsize them to fit Mickael.  I'll make them for Christmas.  I'm using The Loopy Solids Series in Olive, Black and Tan.  Since the pattern is striped and stranded, I'll fulfill the two or more colors requirement, and making them man sized will fulfill the 500 yard requirement.  And of course, I'll have a Christmas gift!  Cast on for this project is tomorrow, July 27.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Keep on Knitting, Keep on Knitting

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I'm starting the ruffle edge on my July Knit Something of the Month Project!  I didn't try to get a picture of the whole thing since it's just packed together on my needles, but I thought I'd show you a detail shot of the stitch texture.  I think this design would look great in a heavier weight of yarn for a Winter shawl/scarf (it's one of those long, more narrow things that are wider than a scarf but not as wide as a stole, that you can wear either way).  Even though I've got until the end of the month on this, I'm trying to get this finished before Friday so I don't have to worry about it during the Ravellenic Games.  I've got fewer than 15 rows and a bind off to go.  I'm not sure how much blocking this will need since there isn't any lace in this project.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Checklist

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I've knitted one back, two fronts, three sleeves and neck/front bands.  What's left?  Weaving in ends, sewing on buttons and a serious blocking, but I'm essentially through with my Emelie Cardigan!

I'll be getting back on my Knit Something of the Month Project for July and getting ready for Camp Loopy project 3 (begins Friday) and the Ravellenics (also begins Friday).  I'll show you those projects later this week!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Sometimes there are speed bumps in life

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Also in Camp Loopy.  I was happily knitting along on my second sleeve yesterday, partway through the ribbing, when I realized that it didn't seem quite like the first sleeve.  Sure enough, when I counted stitches, they were different.  Different enough that the sleeves didn't quite fit the same.  (Helpful tip here:  when you realize you've made a mistake, stop and think before you frog.  You might still have to frog, but you might not have to frog what you think you do, or maybe not at all.  Take a break and then decide what to do.)  I decided I liked the way the second sleeve fit better, so I finished it out.  Then I figured out what I'd need to do to make the first sleeve match the second sleeve.  As it turns out, I only had to frog back to the very end of the sleeve cap shaping and then reknit the sleeve.  So that's what I'm doing now.  Knitting a third sleeve for this sweater.  I'm past the halfway point of the stockinette section and my goal is to be finished with the sleeve tonight.  I've still got a week to finish the entire sweater so I should still get it done, but I'm going to have to be more careful for my Ravellenic project - it has basically the same type of sleeves but my time frame is much shorter.  At least it will be knit at a larger gauge, though.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Getting There

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Work is continuing on my July Project of the Month.  I've got two more repeats before I start the edging ruffle.  The last repeat took about two hours to do, so I'd say I've got four or five more hours before I start ruffling.  It's still a nice, repetitive stitch pattern as long as I count correctly.  Ever notice how hard it is sometimes to count correctly?  And I'm not talking about long stretches, I'm talking five and under here!

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Round and Round and Round We Go

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I'm on the last sleeve now, and I'm past the sleeve cap short rows, so it's just around and around now!  I used DPN's when the circular got too tight on the sleeve cap and that worked pretty well (I think).  There are thousands of yarn ends that need weaving in and it definitely needs blocking, but it's getting there.  I tried it on partway through the last sleeve and it fits (which is always reassuring) and I like the length (also good to know).  One of my photographic assistants (the smaller one) showed up this morning, but he was more interested in the ties on my running shorts than in the sweater.  Taking photos while someone is attacking your waistband isn't really easy.  It's probably not easy being a kitty with all this yarn around either though.  He's started randomly sneaking up and attacking Logan over the weekend.  Usually when Logan is distracted by one of us, Max jumps at Logan's tail/tummy/head/leg/whatever.  Logan is getting a little twitchy.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ravi

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I've gotten a few more short row "wedges" done on the Ravi cardigan's yoke.  I think (I didn't check my notes on the pattern), but I think I'm about halfway done with these.  Each little wedge section doesn't take too long, but I don't want to stop mid-wedge, so I'm only picking it up when I have a little chunk of time to knit.  Also Max REALLY seems to like Socks That Rock yarn.  So I have to have time for at least one wedge plus cat removal as well before I pull this project out.  This is also the one thing I'm knitting that doesn't have a time limit on it - Camp Loopy and my Knit Something of the Month project both have time limits, so this one can go to the bottom of the basket if I need it to.

Speaking of time limits, July 27 is the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics and cast on for the Ravellenic games.  It's also cast on day for Camp Loopy project 3.  I have until August 27 to finish the Camp Loopy project, but only about two weeks to finish the one.  I'm considering either skipping August for my Knit Something of the Month project or bumping that project from August to Whenever I Have A Chance and just work it in later.  I know I'm going to have other things going on in August as well and I think this might be my best chance to stay sane.  Still thinking about it, and if things are going well, I can always start it after the Ravellenic games are over.  Whether I do it or not, this is turning out to be a pretty productive summer!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July Project

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My July Knit Something of the Month project is progressing nicely.  This is one of those projects that once you get into the rhythm of it, it just moves right along and you can watch TV or talk on the phone or whatever.  Everything else I've got on the needles currently needs more attention from me.  I love the texture the stitch pattern makes and it's got just enough going on to amuse me while I'm knitting it.  (This is the pattern "And So Are You" knit in Wollmeise merino fingering in Neptun Dark, just in case anyone is wondering.)

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Onward!

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I'm still knitting away at my Camp Loopy project.  I'm partway down the first sleeve now.  I love the concept of knit in, top down sleeves (no sewing in later), but I really hate working the short rows.  Towards the end of the short rows, right before you start going around and around on the sleeve, it gets really tight on the needles and I just hate the way it feels.  Then I'm on to the round and round part and it goes faster and easier again, but I really dread the last bit of the sleeve cap short rows.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Are there any tricks to this?  I've tried working with two needles, should I add a third?  Should I do it with DPN's?  I've never liked this one part of this technique (it's not just this pattern, it's the top down knit in sleeve technique in general) and honestly, I'm already dreading the second sleeve.  Any ideas?

Otherwise, this project is going just fine.  Max thanks you all for your Happy Birthday wishes (or he would if there weren't 7,000 birds outside right now).

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Happy Birthday Maximus!

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Our little Wrecking Ball is one year old today!  He's still hurtling around the house at top speed, bashing into things and people like an overcaffeinated squirrel.  He will sometimes even bank off of Logan to change direction.  By the time Logan realizes what's happened, Max is at the other end of the house.  He's the first cat I've ever had that jumped from the upstairs to the downstairs (he only did it the once, thank heavens).  He's the first cat I've ever had that sleeps through the entire night.  Under the covers.  Between my feet.  Sideways.  He thinks Logan's tail is a cat toy.  They both think the bathmat is a wrestling ring.  He finds the refrigerator fascinating and will jump in it when we open it.  For that matter, putting away clean dishes into the cabinet is also difficult since he wants to explore those too.  He still jumps up on the very top of the cabinets and races back and forth several times a day.  He loves to watch birds, and also TV (he really likes the mermaids from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie).  He sits with Caleb when he has a nightmare.  He's learned to be an excellent shoulder rider.  You can hear his purr from across the room.  When he gets tired of racing around, crashing into things, and taunting Logan, he will cuddle up against us and go to sleep.  Usually on his back, with his feet in the air.

He's been quite an adventure these past few months, but he's also very loving and friendly with the entire family.  He didn't get the memo that he was supposed to be my kitten and while he loves all of us and plays and cuddles with all of us, he seems to be Mickael's kitten.  Mickael isn't even a cat person, but somehow Max has wrapped his Daddy around his little paw.  I'm still not even sure how that happened.

We love you Max, Happy Birthday!

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Something New

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I  know, I need something new like a need a hole in my head, but that's what makes it so much fun!  Fun is the word I'm using for now, when it becomes not fun, the whole thing goes into hibernation since this is the one project that doesn't have a time limit.  What is it?  It's the Ravi Cardigan and while it's not really a mystery, the directions come in every couple of weeks in sections.  This is the start of the first section, the yoke.  I'm using the suggested yarn: Socks that Rock Mediumweight in True Blood Red.  Yes, I'm going to have a few new red cardigans to wear this Fall and Winter, but that's a good thing, and besides, all the cardis are different and all the reds are different.
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I promised a picture of Emelie in yesterday's post, so here she is this morning.  I'm halfway up the back (between the shoulders and the armholes), and then it's on to sleeves!  Have a great weekend, I'll be sleeving!

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry

No time for a picture this morning, I'm off to a dentist appointment in just a few minutes, but I did want to update my progress on the Emelie Cardigan, Camp Loopy Project 2!  I've passed the point where I divide the fronts from the back and I've finished the fronts.  The shoulder stitches are on holders until I finish the back (which I've started) and then I'll do a three needle bind off to sew the seams.  Then it's just sleeves and button and neck bands and I'm done.  The sleeves are top down, picked up from the body so there's no seaming later.  I'm feeling pretty good about getting this finished on time, and also feeling good about my Ravellenic project (which I'll reveal later this month, when we're closer to the cast on date).

I'll try and get a picture of Emelie later today, or I'll just get one for tomorrow's post!  Have a great Thursday!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

July Knit Something of the Month

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I've started my July project!  This is And So Are You and I'm knitting it in my Wollmeise from Camp Loopy last year.  The color is Neptune Dark (but it might be Neptun without the "e", I can't remember and I don't have the tag right here).  It's an easily memorized pattern, which should be perfect to work on when I'm not working on Emelie (or the other project I started over the weekend which I haven't shown you yet).

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Monday, July 02, 2012

Catching Up

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I got the Aurantium Blossom Shawl blocked last week (my June Knit Something of the Month project), but didn't get it photographed until this morning.  I knit the larger size using Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Vermillion.  It was a pretty fast knit and I thought the stitches were fun to work (it uses Estonian cluster stitches).  This is a heart shaped shawl, which I love because it looks like a triangular shawl, but it stays on the shoulders easier.  Logan was very excited to get to model for you this morning because it's been a while since he had knits to wear.
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I've also been working on my Camp Loopy Project 2.  This is the lower section of the cardigan and I'm just about through with the decreases - so I'm right about waist level on it.  This is moving along pretty quickly, but a certain kitten needed a refresher course over the weekend about what is and isn't acceptable knitting kitten behavior.  He responded by trying to eat the spray bottle.  It was that kind of weekend for him - he was either cuddling or attacking.

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